County continues work on courthouse project funding, flume repair

CREEDE— According to County Administrator Janelle Kukuk, Mineral County Commissioners will be presenting to the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) on March 14 in hopes of securing grant funding through the Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) grant process.

Commissioners discussed the presentation during their first of the month meeting on March 5 and set travel plans to Denver for the final step in the grant process.

In an announcement made by County Administrator Janelle Kukuk on Dec. 19, 2017, the county has been awarded $695,000 through the Underfunded Facility Grant for a new courthouse. The grant was issued after the first of the year and is only one part of the money needed for the entire project. Commissioners are currently working with Kukuk to find a temporary location to move the courthouse should the entire amount be funded.

The next step for the courthouse project will depend on a Department of Local Affairs grant that could potentially fund the remaining $1 million needed to complete the renovation and new construction on the courthouse. In a meeting held in the fall, commissioners received preliminary plans from an engineering company that was used to help apply for the Underfunded Facility grant.

Commissioners listened to a presentation of preliminary plans from Reynolds, Ash and Associates in September 2017. The plans that were presented were one of three the commissioners have been reviewing over the last several months.

“This is the do or die stage for this project. If we do not receive the funding from DOLA, the project will be put on hold until we can reassess the plans. If funding does go through, the courthouse will be moving sometime in June until the preliminary remodel phase is complete. It will be a lot of work, but worth it in the end,” said Commissioner Chairman Scott Lamb.

In other news, the commissioners heard an update on the flume project from Road and Bridge Supervisor Danny Rogers on their portion of the project that the board agreed to in February. Rogers explained that the town had yet to come to the county for help in widening a culvert that goes under the Mineral County Health Clinic parking lot. “I see they have the area flagged and I just need to get in touch with Clyde Dooley to see when they will be ready,” said Rogers.

By widening the existing culvert, it would allow a higher volume of water to pass through the ditch along Loma Street when it is diverted from Willow Creek later this year. Once water is diverted from the flume to the ditch along Loma Street, it is estimated to take about two weeks for repairs to be completed on the flume. The ditch would continue to be used as a means of diversion for the water in years to come as the city agreed to keep up on repairs about every five years once the preliminary project is complete.

“We are pretty much ready when they are to start on widening the culvert. I just need to know a date, so I can work it into the schedule,” said Rogers. Commissioners asked that Rogers let them know as soon as he has definitive dates for the project to begin.

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